Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
July 25, 1943
Dear Aunty Clara,
I did not receive any letters from you yesterday although I did get two V-mails. One was from the Bernetts and the other one was from Uncle Jack. It's no news to you that both Ray and Uncle Jack are both good letter writers and they lived up to their reputations. My birthday letter to Uncle Jack reached him in Los Angeles on the 12th of July while his return birthday reached me at six o'clock in the evening of the 23rd of July. That was good timing eh? The news which Uncle Jack sends is more or less bad. Stack was just reaching the point where he felt like a well man once again when he went down with an attack of pneumonia. He was so low that he even began spitting blood from his lungs. Ever since then he hasn't been the same and he has assumed the mental attitude that he will never get well. As Uncle Jack says, that attitude certainly is not going to help him get well either.
Ray's letter dwells mainly upon Darryl Wade Bernett and the reactions of parentage. The letter is very entertaining. Naturally, you must know that Darryl is a rather extraordinary child and Ray will have you know that that isn't so much talk from a proud papa either. He really does things no three week old child ever did before.
The main event of the evening yesterday was the variety show put on under the auspices of Lt. Carrozza, the special services officer, using all 353rd Engineer talent. LT. Carrozza acted as Master of Ceremonies. He resembles Ricardo in many respects both in facial appearance and personality (including the jokes he tells) although he is much shorter. Some of the outstanding acts included the Chaplain's assistant who is a professional magician. His best trick was stepping down into the audience and passing out any three cards from a deck. Returning to the platform he walked to the rear of the stage and placed the remainder of the deck in a glass on a stand. Then he came up to the microphone (about fifteen feet from the cards) and began naming the three cards which had been drawn. As he named them he would coax them to come out of the glass and, sure enough, seemingly without his aid they popped up from the deck in the glass. To climax the act he said that he wasn't just restricted to one card at a time, "see". And with that word, the entire deck flew from the glass.
Another unusual stunt was a fellow who could play a mouth organ thru his nose. You can just imagine how humorous that was. Then to do that one better, he put the mouth organ in his mouth and played another song.
That amphitheater is certainly proving its worth. We have movies three times a week now with the promise of four shows and then we have the band concert, the variety show and the occasional USO unit on Sunday afternoons. In addition to the present round of entertainment, Jack Molyneaux has thought up another idea. We already have a baseball team and a baseball diamond. Now he plans to activate a basketball league with a team from every company. By enlarging the platform to the proper dimensions we could turn it into basketball or volleyball courts and when not in use for those purposes it could be converted into a tennis court or a dance floor. Just who they would get to dance with all the fellows hasn't been figured out yet.
Another poem appeared in the "Post" this week about the services of supply. I have copied it down on another V-mail form and have sent it along with this letter.
I told Myrtle about the natives down here and said that if they would make little dolls in imitation of them, the people could make a lot of money. Now the Company Clerk of E Company, Schwartz, tells me that they are selling just such a doll, hand carved, in town for only the small sum of fifty dollars. It isn't the painted kind though and instead is highly polished wood. That isn't so good because it is difficult to distinguish the features and the clothes. After the war is over maybe we can go into the business making and selling the type of doll I had in mind.